So... Once Upon a Time...

bykfixer

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An un-normal day at the office:

It was about to turn into Fall of 2004 when a hurricane named Gaston was down graded to a tropical storm. The guy on the news says "and Gaston will pass through our area quickly and be in New England in by nightfall. Well, you know the deal. The weatherman gets it wrong an awful lot. Yet nobody knew ole Gaston would chug up the east coast and then stall over Richmond Va for an hour many will never forget. Up to 18" of rain fell in about an hour. I was watching it from my upstairs bedroom and living on a flat street I saw water piling up in the highest point of my street. With a 6" curb on both sides, they were under water. I'd never seen anything like it.

Next day things were a huge mess. Working as a consultant for the highway department I was on a paving assignment that ended about a month later. I was to be furloughed after that until Spring. Instead myself and 4 others were dispatched to watch over a number of reconstruction projects. The day after Gaston my buddy Ron and I were dispatched to one where so much water ran down an exit ramp it literally floated a foot thick layer of pavement of a right lane and dumped it onto the left lane of a highway for about a half mile. The two of us worked a 24 hour shift watching pavers repair that one. But one assignment was to watch a triple barrel culvert get replaced. Three side by side 84" pipes (that's 8 feet tall) had been dislodged and moved about 75 feet.

It was one of those roads in the middle of nowhere with perhaps 50 cars a day. But being closed meant folks living in the area had about a 50 mile detour. So the culverts needed to be put back asap. Looking at the pipes was sureal. It was like a giant had just tossed his toys and walked about leaving a pile of rubble. And in a cavern left there was a pinky sized phone wire showing. The contractor called the utility line locating services to have it identified with markings before they began rebuilding the culverts. Nobody thought much about it.

A week goes by and locating services all said "it aint ours". The line was laying across the area where work needed to take place. The boss wanted to know why no work had begun. It was a FEMA job so it was time and materials meaning we were paying the contractor was getting paid to wait for the line to be identified. Two weeks, nothing. The third week the contractor who had a big crew of less than legal workers was getting anxious to start working. My boss hollered at my project inspector on a celular phone "cut the dam thing and start working". So the contractor cut the line with wire cutters.

About 15 minutes later we saw white Econoline vans flying toward our direction from two directions. "Huh?" we thought. Like ten of them!! They slam on brakes all like you see on tv and suddenly a bunch of fellows wearing aviator shades and dark blue coaches jackets with yellow letters……and they all had rifles. "Who's in charge here?!?" shouts one of them as the cotractors workers were scattering into the woods, jumping into the water or standing with their hands in the air. The contractor foreman said "I am, is there a problem?" The guy says "yeah who ever cut the phone line is in big trouble". They talked for a bit and things settled down without any trouble.

Turns out just up the road was a US Navy satellite farm and cutting the phone line had disrupted communication all over planet earth. lol. Holy cow!! Some secret wire along an old country road getting shut down the communication of the entire United States Navy or something. Now for an hour everybody on our side stood around paralyzed while government agents slowly got back in the vans and headed away. Later that day we laughed and laughed about all those dudes jumping into the water, running into the woods etc. Eventually the triple culvert was reinstalled and I was off to other fast paced projects since Gaston had done quite a number to an area along the Chickhomany river near Richmond Va.

A coworker named Ron and I became friends at that period of our lives. Unfortunately colon cancer took Ron away a few years later.
RIP Ron.
 
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chillinn

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Catching up old posts. bykfixer, you have me in tears, and then you drop a bomb on me. WW. I'm devastated. Everyone else must have gotten through it months ago. I feel foolish and sad. I think I just sighed 25 times in a row, getting dizzy. He made me laugh. But bykfixer, you should publish.
 

Poppy

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Great story Mr Fixer! :)

So when the "Men in Black" showed up with their little mind eraser light, you were left unimpressed?
It's obvious that it didn't erase your mind.
I'm glad for that.

Being the flashaholic you are... "hmmm, I've got one better than that!" "Here... check out this little HDS, I have in my pocket!"

Chillinm,
Nice complement you wrote there.

Yeah... a few years after I am gone, I'll be mostly forgotten, but Woods Walker, with his tips and humor, and internet postings will be with us forever.

A great guy, I miss him too.
 

bykfixer

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RIP WW.

Thanks for the compliment Chillin'.

Poppy, we were all too scared to be impressed or not. We did however discuss the feeling "sure am glad they're on our side" aspect though.

Another Gaston project involving potential military was a small bridge that high waters had scoured out the soil under the pier in the middle had to be replaced. In bridge terms a pier is a sort of post that supports a bridge. There may be one pier or a few depending on its length. Each end of the bridge is called an abutment. This bridge had one pier in the middle and the river it crossed had washed out the soil it sat on. Now the bridge had been built in the "make work" period of the Great Depression. If I recall correct 1936 or 7. It was about 100 feet long so when driving 55 mph on that country road you cross it in a second or two. Again this was a project in the middle of nowhere that perhaps 50 cars a day cross over. Also again with it closed that meant residents had to drive about 25 miles around to get to their destination.

The project was to replace the old one with what is called a truss bridge. In basic terms it is an erector set bridge on a life sized scale. The parts of the bridge were brought in on trucks and assembled with a million billion screws. The riding surface called the deck was to be asphalt. It's a nostalgia thing I try not to understand because that just slows down the work. I was sent to help a guy named Fred. His real name, but other names will be non real since later in life they needed their identities to remain anonymous. Fred was a guy sent from another district of the highway department as punishment for losing his cool one day. On a large bridge project with a really lousy contractor in a politically charged district (ie folks up for re-election soon) ole Fred made the 6 o'clock news. See the contractor's boss had been threatening ole Fred with bodily harm and one day Fred had enough, burst into the contractors office and basically tossed furniture and said "bring it on big fella". The problem was the contractor boss was being interviewed at that moment by a local news reporter asking "why the hell is it taking you so long to build this bridge?" when Fred burst in the place. Doh!

Now on this project Fred was working for a guy I'll call Tim (not his real name) and the contractor boss (not the same one Fred dealt with before) I'll call Charles (not his real name). The contractor foreman I'll call Dave (not his real name either). Now Fred got along with Dave ok, but Tim and Charles hated each other for some reason I do not know. But everytime they got within 10 feet of each other a shouting match resulted. In my book Charles usually won the battle of the minds, because he was a politically connected cocaine addict who was actually a lot smarter than Tim. But Tim worked for the government so he could make phone calls and get other departments dispatched to come out to the project and reject work being done by the contractor or find safety violations, regardless how minor. That made Fred and Dave have a lot of bad days.

As much as Fred and Dave tried to get along they were each told to "get that guy" meaning each other by their bosses. Often times they refused to comply and the days their bosses were both on the job at the same time Fred and Dave were getting their butts chewed for getting along. Me, I was just a helper who stood by and shook my head a lot while I did my work. I tested materials and completed work like dirt compactions or concrete. Contractor workers would say to me "man this don't make no sense them guys contantly bickering all the time." I agreed.

On the days Tim had sent his goon squad to the site to reject work Charles would say "that's ok I'll be having lunch with Paul (not his real name) Tuesday". Paul was the head honcho of the highway department who was one of the governors minions. Now Paul being appointed by the governor could chat with the governor easily and Tim knew that but he hated Charles so much that did not stop him. So about twice a month Charles would say "that's cool Tim, I'll be discussing this with Paul this Tuesday".

One day Charles said "that's ok Tim I'm having lunch with Paul today"………Fred said "so I guess you haven't read todays newspaper, huh?" Charles said "no why?" Fred goes to his truck and brings back the morning paper. On the front page was a photo of Paul being led out of his office building in hand cuffs after being charged with corruption. Charles walked away mumbling what sounded like obsenities and sped off in his SUV.

In the meantime both ends of the proposed bridge had been built. The abutments that the big erector set structure would sit on had been finished. A big old vertical concrete slab had been built on each side of the river about 125 feet apart. The bridge pieces had arrived and were being assembled. My job at that point was to check every bolt with a torque wrench. A 3 feet long torque wrench. I had noticed at this point that every day at precisely 3:15 in the afternoon a pair of bald eagles flew overhead. Being a photographer, at 3:00 each day I'd set up a camera on a tripod to photograph them flying over. I still used film back then because digital gear was less than great and very expensive.

Tim told Fred to have me take photos of the project with a cheap camera he had so I did. Ends up he hated my photos because I took pictures of cool stuff in the background like the American flag on a crane boom and of course those eagles flying over. "You are wasting my film with this crap" he said one day. I took pictures of welders with sparks flying, workers wiping a sweaty brow, a crane operator with nothing to do sleeping etc. To me they were stories.

So off to the side the erector set is being assembled on one side of the river. One morning the drunkest drunkered I had ever seen shows up and begins to tell Fred and Dave the abutments are too far apart. The contractors surveyer was this watery eyed man who shook like an earthquake at 8am and wreaked of his cheap booze breakfast announced there was an error in points on each side of the river to guage where to build each abutment. Grade bust they call it. Usually a grade bust is parts of an inch or perhaps an inch or two. This one was 27 feet!! Were the abutments 27 feet too far apart? Not far enough apart? The erector set pieces were custom fabricated a certain length and you don't just start welding on extensions or cutting stuff off. This was bad it seemed. It turned out the highway department had set grade points from one side of the river using one point instead of one from each side so everything was cool. Pulling a distance between a point on each side of the river were supposed to be X feet apart but in reality they were 27 feet off the supposed distance apart and the highway department surveyor had caught the mistake before designing the bridge plans. Phew!!

The bridge is assembled and ready to set onto the concrete abutments and be bolted to the vertical concrete slabs that had threaded metal studs sticking out. But Tim was still playing games and said the contractor's crane was to small to lift the structure and set it over the slabs. The crane could lift 150 tons at a certain angle. Tim said they needed a 175 ton crane as the angle was too steep to use a 150 ton crane. In other words the crane on site would be setting too far away to set the structure at a safe angle. Lifting at too shallow an angle can break a crane boom sending large metal objects downward onto workers below. Dave hollered out to Tim ""J$&us Chr!$t man it's my bridge, you haven't paid for it yet, if I drop it in the f-bomb water I'll buy you another one!" Tim told Fred don't you let him set that bridge. Charles came out and once again fir went to flying.

Dave set the bridge the next day. Now nothing broke but the tracks the crane moves back and forth on were lifting off the ground at the opposite end from the crane boom. It was kinda scarey to watch. Several workers and I stood well off to the side holding our breath. But it set onto the metal studs safely. After that bolts were fastened over the next few days, plates were welded between girders for the asphalt deck to be placed on (hence pictures of welders with sparks flying) and eventually the bridge was opened to the public again.

Now I noticed every Friday many of the workers would gather around a welder who traded cash for their paychecks. It turns out he was a loan shark from NJ who would cash their check for a 5% fee. This was before the days of E-verify and some of the workers were actually illegal imigrants so they would pay him instead of using Western Union to wire their checks back home. The loan shark guy was a fellow who owned parking garages and other legitimate businesses in NJ and was a relocated government witness against a crime family in the 1970's. He came down south and took up the welding trade as his cover.

That project was wild. It took about 3 months to replace a bridge that you can cross in about two snaps of your fingers. Charles was later arrested and convicted of drug trafficking and raquteering. Tim was fired for collusion and taking bribes and died of a heart attack while being led out of his office building. Dave had 3 incidents where crane boom broke and people died. He is reportedly serving time (or served) for willfull misconduct in the deaths of 2 people including his son who was a crane operator who died in one incident when the crane fell over into water and he drowned. The welder was in his late 80's at the time so he is either dead or one of the worlds oldest people. And Fred retired about a year later. Last I heard he is living a peaceful life on piece of land in the countryside not far from that project.

Oh, and that little bridge was rated some kinda "G" rating like G-14 or something meaning it can withstand military tanks to cross in case America got invaded. It is a shortcut between military bases.
 
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chillinn

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The contractors surveyer was this watery eyed man who shook like an earthquake at 8am and wreaked of his cheap booze breakfast....

Doubling down. I, and many others, wish we could write like this. Pure lyrical poetry. Come up with an outline so you can finish, and send the first chapters to a publisher. yada yada yada... move to Key West and raise 6 toed cats.
 

Poppy

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Last night while surfing through Amazon Prime Video, I came across "Overlord".

It was a WWII film of a small group of paratroopers who got shot down and surmounted insurmountable odds to infiltrate a German camp and blow up a radar tower, to clear the way for Allied bombers.

One of the men was a photo-journalist, who of all things used my father's camera!



ACtC-3fbN39xzFHm7q04jQg8d3ECClhrqnwmPgpm9gJ7OBsiZTecIe3XI2TniYEjraxVlsd64r-zwt17L1dbSmHxZSlgIkUeJlgVxNhVQM05nNGIIn9OLZWpUeMO8pyGqQNYeAcr65gpbF10Eyb_V7PLHTIe=w1010-h757-no
 

Chauncey Gardiner

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Not once upon a time,

but just yesterday, as a matter of fact, was the day for one of our school's buildings to have its fire suppression system inspection. This particular inspection is what's known as an internal inspection and is required every five years. A licensed technician drains the pipes, accesses the system in two places, completes an internal inspection, flushes the system and checks the Backflow device for leakage. Since this building houses a regulation size basketball court and the gym is three stories, the test takes about six hours.

0MwLnWQ.jpg


Anyhow, after getting the guys started, I decided to return home and finish my morning coffee time with the Lovely Mrs. Gardiner.

We had been sitting at the kitchen table for a spell when one of our sons walked into the room and said - "Dad, some guy just walked around behind the garage." Not thinking it through, I neglected to don shoes or arm myself. The reason I should have is two fold. One being the garage is 150 feet from the closest street and you must walk past the house to get to it. So, he wasn't just looking for our front door. The other reason was by the time I found him he was buck-*** naked from the waist down. :wtf: I mean, seriously! :wtf: So, that's what I asked him - "HEY! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" I didn't really want to know. I just wanted him to stop whatever it was. He looks over at me and says - "It's OK. I'm not trying to steal anything." He had his pants wadded up in his hands and was trying to either get something out of a pocket or turn them inside out. He was about 25 years old and looked like one of the Latinos that's been working on the house next door.

The new owners are having a complete, to the studs, inside and out remodel, so there's been lots and lots of workers there for the last couple of months. About this time I start to wonder if he had had an accident and shat himself. A tiny bit of empathy began to arise, but not enough to keep me from continuing to yell. "ARE YOU OK? WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! DO YOU WORK NEXT DOOR?! He answered that he did work next door. So I yelled some more, asking why he wasn't over there. It's a big place with lots of privacy for him to do whatever the heck it was he was doing.

I could tell he was embarrassed cuz he looked down a couple of times checking to see what was exposed due to the length of his shirt. I started to relax a little but was still very unhappy with this situation. I asked him if he needed some clean clothes. I don't consider myself a nice person but I do try to be well mannered. Besides, I know there are two types of men, men that have shat themselves and men that are going to shat themselves. Sooner or later, guys, it's going to happen. :ohgeez:

Anyhow, I yell at him some more, telling him to not come back and that he scared my wife and children. Then I reposition myself a few feet to give him some privacy to pull his pants on. BTW, I was never closer to him than 35 feet.

He leaves and I go check where he was standing. There's nothing there. Back in the house and tell the family all about the dude sans pants or underwear. Weird, yes, but now the rest of the story.

Remember the fire system guys? They call informing me it's time to inspect the classrooms so, it's time for me to come back and accompany them.

Back at the school I needed to use the bathroom facilities. Walking toward the door I see a young student about to exit the men's room. However, as soon as he sees me he walked back into the bathroom. I'm in there about 30 seconds when I hear a tiny voice from behind a stall door asking - "Is someone in here?" I answer yes and little man begins to cry, explaining that he has pooped his pants and asks for his mother. I said - "Oh I'm sorry, but don't worry, it's going to be OK. What's your name and who's your teacher?" He answers but again asks for his mommy. I tell him - "OH Mrs. XXXXX is so nice. I'm sure she has had this happen before with other students and I'm sure your mommy is a long way from here. I'll go get your teacher and she'll help you, and don't worry, no one else will know what's happened."

Man on man! Textbook definition of irony.
 

peter yetman

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Going up that ladder would be enough for me to poo my pants. I can do heights, but not over about 20 feet on a ladder.
That picture looks like one of my dreams, where I have to do some wiring at the top of, say, the O2 Arena on just a ladder, makes my blood run cold thinking of it.

P
 

Chauncey Gardiner

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Going up that ladder would be enough for me to poo my pants. I can do heights, but not over about 20 feet on a ladder.
That picture looks like one of my dreams, where I have to do some wiring at the top of, say, the O2 Arena on just a ladder, makes my blood run cold thinking of it.

P

Perhaps that's what the drop cloth was for. :eeew:
 

Poppy

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bykfixer, in another thread reminded me of an incident in my life that was particularly meaningful to me.

At 12 years old I got a paper route, and then another, and built a small savings account. I quit when I went to high school. When it was time for the high school prom, I took money out of my savings account, and later got a job at a Gino's to make the money and put it back into the account. Gino's was a fast food burger joint like McDonalds of today. We made less than the minimum wage because they could get away with it because we could possibly make up the difference in tips! Of course we never got any tips!

The manager I had was a real A$$. They paid in fifteen minute increments, on the hour. He required you to come in 15 minutes before your shift started (on the hour or half hour) or you were late, and he'd have you punch in 14 minutes early, And he wouldn't release you until 10 minutes after your shift ended. This way he got essentially 24 minutes of work from you for free.

At 16 years old, I was still only about 5'9" and 135 pounds, but not the dumbest kid in the class. After I saw a pay check or two, I knew what he was doing, and that it was intentional.

So one day, I came to work at the time I was scheduled, not 15 minutes early. He met me at the door... the rear entrance, and slammed me into the wall. Either by my shirt, or throat, but my feet were off the ground. Somehow, I got down, and we had a couple of words. With that he grabbed a broom, or mop and chased after me as I ran away. As I ran away, I ran past his desk. I grabbed a pair of scissors, and spun on him. It was so funny to see him stop dead in his tracks, and his face turn sheet white, that I laughed, and threw the scissors on his desk and walked away. We both knew... at that moment, if he had taken another step, I would have stabbed him.

I am thankful for that moment in time. In grammar school I was occasionally picked on, and maybe called a sissy. In High School, I changed that, but always, in the back of my mind was... "Am I the man that I think I am, or would like to be?"

Will I "Turn the other cheek" when the consequences are inconsequential, absolutely yes; but I know, from that incident, that if I, or my family is physically threatened, I'll take whatever actions are necessary to protect them. I find that liberating.
 

bykfixer

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A thread in off topic stirred up some ghosts.
I was in the midst of a mid-life crisis and was the leader of a bmx team. Now I pretty much sucked at stunt riding a 20" bicycle but to that point had never let my lack of talent over ride my ambition. My back yard was a stunt riders theme park with jumps, ramps and a race track.

My ex-wife's nephew was a really talented young fellow who would talk me into the darndest things. One day he talked me into trying a stunt called "truck driver" where you leap in the air on a bicycle and rotate one direction while spinning the handlebars the opposite direction. I had never tried such a thing but hey, I'd never jumped off a bridge until the day he talked me into that. We worked on getting a dirt hill the right shape to launch you in the air better. Once that was perfect it was time. He went first. I should have known that when he launched about 3x higher than ever before this was a bad idea. My ex yells out the back door "are you ready to go to mom's?" It was Mothers Day and the tradition was to go there and do her lawn then sit down for a meal.

"Give me 5 minutes" I yelled back. Gotta try the new jump out. I get all revved up and launch. Peddling for all I was worth I hit that dirt hill and go for the stunt and do it……but when I landed my bike was crooked. My bike was inertially moving on a different axis than my body. Now the bike had stunt pegs for axle grinds on coping and hand rails. Not realizing this I went to dump the bike and slide out of the situation like dumping a motorcycle. Trouble was mid-dump the pegs bit the ground, instantly halting the bike while my body was still in motion. It launched me head first onto the base of a big ole tree near the jump. I failed to note up to now my backyard park was loaded with perlious obstacles. Bushes, trees, clothesline poles etc. I landed on my left side with an "umph". My nephew yells out "holy crap you did it" as I struggled to stand up. My left shoulder was out of joint and my ribs were crooked. I knew this was ugly. I failed to notice the blurred vision because the other stuff was freaking me out so bad.

My ribs popped back into place. Phew! That's cool. My nephew popped my arm back into place. Yikes! That's going to hurt later but at the time I was numb all over and my ears were ringing. "Where's my glasses?"…… put them back on. Luckily they had not broken I thought. My ex comes out back and says I'm ready when you are" and my nephew says "uh, we need a minute here". "Fine I'll be in the car" she says and storms off. That sort of thing is why she is now called my ex. Not that it's all her fault mind you as putting up with a man-child aint always easy.

We get to her mom's and I did the yard up like normal but by then pain was setting in. Oh my. Still not that bad but I knew if I lived to see the next day it would be ugly. Next morning I woke up. Well that's cool I didn't bleed to death internally. After struggling to get out of bed I realized my ears were still ringing and I had a terrific headache. I went to put on a ball cap and noticed a knot. I went to work like normal but holy smokes it hurt to wiggle my toes. My boss was completely unsympothetic since he hated the fact that at 35 years old I rode a 20" bicycle to work each day. Often times riding a wheelie as I entered the gated complex. "Overgrown kid" he'd snipe. I said "hey I grew up watching Evel Knievel, now it's my turn".

I did not ride my bike to work for a while. Nope, it hurt too much. And thinking back I probably should have gone to a doctor if for nothing else the concussion. About 3 months later I was pain free enough to contemplate trying that stunt again. I found myself researching a chest protector and a helmet like those guys on the X-Games used. I had built a special light weight "jumping" bike and contemplated what stunt to try next. Then it hit me "hey stupid, if you need a helmet you probably shouldn't do it"…… so I gave the bicycle to my brothers kid and never bought that helmet and chest protector.

After that I learned ground tricks where falling only meant from about 2' or less and at a slow speed, not from 10' going 15+mph. I did that for a while but eventually lost interest. Life had changed and I was single with a job that required a lot of hours and travel. The lads on the bmx team went off and found jobs or went to college and we lost touch with each other over time. I hear one turned out to be a veteranarian and another a diesel mechanic. The others I don't know about. My ex-wife's nephew went the life of crime route but he isn't very good at that so as I type this he's rumored to be back in jail for being a drunken klepto. I disassembled my bmx bike that now hangs in a garage in pieces and my oldest son still rides his racing bike from time to time.

In the end a lot of things happened I'd not repeat if I had it to do again. And some I would, just not the things that were beyond being a coach since I was probably good at that. My team were a bunch of misfits who were flunking in life and would have likely quit school and gone on to be bums. Instead from what I heard a few years later turned out to be model citizens. I hear my ex got remarried to another man-child and lives a happy life. One day I grew up and decided to put away all of those Evel Knievel sort of desires. When I ride a bicycle now it's a nice slow moving cushy 21 speed number with 26" wheels and I never even contemplate doing a wheelie anymore. I'll peddle to a drug store and pick up some Gerital thinking back to the good ole days as the breeze across my cheeks from travelling 3mph raises a smile on my face.

And I still don't wear a helmet.
 
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Poppy

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Nice story Mr fixer :thumbsup:

My son had two BXM bikes, one lightweight with kevlar rims etc, built for speed, and the other with extra sturdy parts (extra spokes in the rims) for strength and durability for taking jumps etc.

He was racing in Arizona, as we watched a dust storm approach. I'd never seen one before, but it came on quickly, and you could see it coming from a distance. He and the other racers, finished just as it hit us.

Oh yeah, he also had a number of spills, once wore wrist braces for a month or so, (had to take his tests orally because he couldn't write) and some stitches in his face.
 

bykfixer

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Oh man I was driving home from work and one event popped in my head. A story about being careful who you mess with as you may see them again someday.

It was about 1984 I suppose. I had graduated from laborer to equipment operator at my job at the local public works department. Man I was so proud, and my pay bumped up another dollar too. I'm like 20 years old and life was grand. My promotion meant during my role of a grass cutter I had graduated from weed whacker kid to Bush Hog Man. Yeah buddy. Now grass cutting season began around April. So that meant drive the tractor around town around 14mph from spot to spot. And on a warm day that was awesome. A day when it hit 75+ meant that was one sweet ride.

So while travelling at said 14mph there were times when I held up traffic. On a two lane road after school let out the kids would get restless as they patiently waited for that stupid farm tractor to find a shoulder to pull over onto. Being that young I had not forgotten how important it was to get home from school so we could be free. Well this one warm afternoon I had on my yellow "disco sucks" t-shirt that by 1984 was pretty ragged. As this one car goes past this kid yells out something and flips me the bird. A bit later I felt heat on my back. That little so n so had flicked a cigarette on me and it landed in one of the holes on my shirt. Yikes!

A friend of mine was still in high school so I asked him who drove such n such vehicle. It seems the kid who flipped me off had bragged about catching some guy on a tractor on fire. My buddy got back with me about who it was. Apparently he told the kid "dude you ****** up". And apparently the kid said "oh yeah, I know Spain, he'll handle it". Spain is the guy I mentioned a few pages ago as the guy everybody was scared to ride with to the skateboard park because he's so radical, and Spain liked some bykfixer. So words were exchanged between me and the kid through my buddy who had a disco van with a bed so in my town he was king of the class of '85 and word got back to me that the kid who flipped me off was out to get me. My buddy the king apparently advised the kid that was a bad idea.

At that point I was not the least bit concerned about this kid. There were more important things in life like cutting grass and going to college at night. There were times I was asked to fill in for people at work. Answer the phones when the secretary was on vacation, fill in for the landfill attendent when he went to the doctor etc. A year or so had passed and one day I'm filling in at the landfill. Usually I'd go outside the building and greet the person wanting to drop off trash. They'd sign a sheet. But I saw a truck pulling up with the kid who flipped me off driving it.

Now near the building was a large pond with lots of geese. And sometimes those geese would walk up to the building and attack anybody outside. So the attendent kept an alluminum baseball bat handy to ward off the geese when necessary. When the kid who flipped me off entered the building he saw me wielding a baseball bat. "Remember me?" I said as I gentley whacked my palm with the bat…… "uh, uh, uh, man I'm sorry" he says as I could have sworn he was going to faint right then and there. I said "by the way I used to ride skateboards with Spain"……he goes running out the door and hurredly left without dumping his trash.

I wondered as I drove home whatever became of that kid. Did he learn his lesson?
I hope so.
 

bykfixer

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I just remembered a tale from the mid-90's while I still worked for the gubment. I worked with a few real characters lemee tell ya. They'd play practical jokes on each other like putting water in your car tires to make them wobble like crazy, tranny oil in the induction, which would make it smoke like crazy, put an I'm gay plaque over their license plate……stuff like that.

Well this one scoundrel kept bragging his 40th birthday was coming up. The guy already looked 65, and even his mom said "my son is such a jerk"…… He was a mechanic and carried his 3 drawer tool box in and out of the shop everyday so nobody could ever borrow any of his tools. On his 40th birthday a coworker placed a segment of a snow plow blade underneath of the bottom drawer of his tool box. It probably weighed 25-30 pounds. But you combine that with the already 40-50 pounds and it takes on a whole new dillema.

Up to that day the guy would "umph!" and lift his tool box with one hand, and place it in the trunk of his car. That day he went "umph!" and nothing happened. Somebody yelled out "you know when you turn 40 your body goes". He sheepishly grinned as we stood by the time clock waiting for quitting time just laughing away. Then with 2 hands he hoisted that box into his trunk and drove off. Everybody but him knew what was happening.

Each day the same thing. Soon he started to believe he was actually falling apart. He went to counciling, he left his wife, I mean the guy just fell apart. A sober man soon began to drink heavily and get into bar fights, in trouble with the cops and pretty much came unglued. About a year into the whole thing a man took pity on him and told him about the snow plow blade. Soon after that the guy got it back together. Thing is, after that he became a pretty cool guy. So even though it sucked to be him for a while he really ended up benefitting from it. He now lives in a better house, drives beautiful old cars and instead of being a jerk he helps out his fellow man on a regular basis.
 

Poppy

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Good story Mr Fixer.
I'd bet he had some sharper tools inside the box, than the tool who was carrying it.

I'm glad that everything worked out for him.
 

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